Among the documents held by the Company of Merchant Adventurers in York that relate to the pageant they presented in the York Corpus Christi Play, the Last Judgment, is one dated February 27, 1453-1454 that is unlike any other document related to the play in their possession. It is a single parchment sheet measuring 304mm x 117mm with the three personal seals of the men named in the document still attached. 1 The document reads as follows:
Nouerint vniuersi per presentes nos Robertum Hewyk de ledes in Comitatu Ebor’ Parrishe clerke Thomam ffitt de Ebor’ Tapiter & Henricum Clayton de Ebor textorem teneri & firmiter obligari Gubernatori & Custodibus Communitatis Mercatorum Ciuitatis Ebor’ in decem libris sterlingorum Soluendis eisdem. Guberatori & Custodibus vel successoribus suis seu eorum certo attorno ad festum Corporis christi proximum futurum post datam presencium sine dilaaone longiori Ad quam quidem solucionem dicte pecunie vt premittitur faciendam obligamus nos heredes & executores nostros ac onvnia bona nostra. et quemlibet nostrum per se pro toto & insoliduw per presentes Sigillis nostris signatas Datum vicesimo septimo die ffebruarij Anno regni Regis Henrici sexti post conquestum Anglie tricesimo secundo
Condicio istius obligacionis talie est quod si prescripti Robertus, Thomas & Henricus teneant & perimpleant ex parte sua omnes & singulas conuenciones & condiciones contentas in quibusdam indenturis inter supradictum Guberatorem & Custodes ex vna parte et prefatos Robertum, Thomam & Henricum ex parte altera confectis de & super educaione ludi Corporis christi videlicet pagine vocate domysday secundum vim formam & effectum indenturarum predictarum 264quod extunc ista obligacio pro nullo habeatur Alioquin in suis robore permaneat & virtute
(By these present [letters] let everyone understand that we, Robert Hewyk, parish clerk of Leeds in the county of York, Thomas Fitt tapiter of York and Henry Clayton weaver of York, are firmly bound and held to the governor and wardens of the guild of the Merchants of the city of York, in the amount of £10 sterling to be paid to the same governor and wardens, or their successors, or their accredited attorney, on the next feast of Corpus Christi after the date of the present [letters], without any further delay. Indeed to the payment of the said sum as stated above we bind ourselves, our heirs and our executors, and all our goods, and each of us for the whole amount in its entirety, by these present [letters] sealed with our seals. Given on 27 February in the thirty-second year of the reign of King Henry the Sixth after the conquest of England.
The condition of this obligation is that if the aforesaid Robert, Thomas and Henry keep and fulfil on their part each and every agreement and condition contained in certain indentures made between the abovesaid governor and wardens on the one hand and the aforesaid Robert, Thomas and Henry on the other about and concerning the production of a Corpus Christi play to wit, of the pageant called Doomsday, according to the meaning, form and effect of the aforementioned indentures, that henceforth this obligation is to be considered annulled. Otherwise let it stand in its strength and power.) 2